Barnet Council has approved its first dementia strategy as it prepares for a large increase in the number of residents living with the condition.
The strategy is designed to help the council and its partners in the health and voluntary sectors provide more proactive support, maximising people’s independence, health and wellbeing.
Developed in partnership with people who have dementia and their carers, it aims to provide “a framework for continuous action to ensure that people continue to live well and thrive”.
The number of people aged over 65 who are living with dementia in Barnet is expected to increase from 4,387 in 2020 to 7,282 in 2040 as the population ages. The strategy sets out plans for a preventative approach that reduces and delays the need for care by working with the voluntary sector to promote independence, mental and physical health, volunteering and other activities.
It also focuses on timely and accurate diagnosis of dementia. The strategy acknowledges that improvements can be made following a recent drop in the dementia diagnosis rate. Additionally, only 77% patients diagnosed with dementia had their care plan reviewed during the previous 12 months.
The strategy aims to ensure people live well by creating a “sustainable dementia-friendly community”. It also aims to ensure they receive appropriate end-of-life care and to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
Following the approval of the strategy during a meeting of the adults and safeguarding committee on Monday, council officers will develop a multi-agency action plan to work on its priorities. The council hopes this will lead to better diagnosis and an increase in the number of people able to access appropriate information, advice and guidance, both before and after their diagnosis.